James Madison

Special Message

March 31, 1814

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

Taking into view the mutual interests which the United States and the foreign nations in amity with them have in a liberal commercial intercourse, and the extensive changes favorable thereto which have recently taken place; taking into view also the important advantages which may otherwise result from adapting the state of our commercial laws to the circumstances now existing, I recommend to the consideration of Congress the expediency of authorizing, after a certain day, exportations, specie excepted, from the United States in vessels of the United States and in vessels owned and navigated by the subjects of powers at peace with them, and a repeal of so much of our laws as prohibits the importation of articles not the property of enemies, but produced or manufactured only within their dominions.

I recommend also, as a more effectual safeguard and encouragement to our growing manufactures, that the additional duties on imports which are to expire at the end of one year after a peace with Great Britain be prolonged to the end of two years after that event, and that, in favor of our moneyed institutions, the exportation of specie be prohibited throughout the same period.


James Madison, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/205538

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